Palamo, Smith return to Eagles roster for IRB Pacific Nations Cup match against Canada

Palamo, Smith return to Eagles roster for IRB Pacific Nations Cup match against Canada

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Men’s Eagles Head Coach Mike Tolkin has announced the lineup for his team’s final match of the 2014 Summer Series, an IRB Pacific Nations Cup matchup against border rival Canada at Bonney Field Saturday, June 21.

Todd Clever captains the side, which features Brett Thompson on the wing in his first appearance for the Eagles. Thompson has accumulated 21 tries and 105 points with the Men’s Eagles Sevens on the IRB HSBC Sevens World Series circuit in 16 tournaments.

“We have been looking at him for quite some time,” Tolkin said. “He is an athletic, knowledgeable young man who plays with confidence and has a good amount of ability.”

Danny Barrett, another member of the Men’s Eagles Sevens, will start his second consecutive match for the Eagles against Canada after earning his first starting cap against Japan last weekend. Barrett replaces Cam Dolan, who sustained an injury at StubHub Center, at number eight.

“[Cam] will be fine,” Tolkin said. “He has a foot injury that should heal in a matter of weeks. Playing on it would have exacerbated the situation, and that would not be beneficial for him or the Eagles in the long run.”

Hayden Smith returns to the lineup to partner Samu Manoa in the second row. Smith was not named to the 23-man roster against Japan but played in the Eagles’ Summer Series opener against Scotland at BBVA Compass Stadium and the first leg of the IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Qualifier playoff against Uruguay. The six-foot-seven lock returned to Saracens Football Club last winter after playing with the National Football League’s New York Jets.

“Hayden was replaced [against Japan] as he is just getting back into things and we thought that the lineup we had versus Japan was the right one for that particular team,” Tolkin said. “Hayden brings a lot to the table in ability, knowledge, and pride. I look forward to having him back.”

Thretton Palamo, who also took some time off from rugby to play American football at the University of Utah, starts at center alongside Seamus Kelly. Palamo was on the bench in Carson but did not feature in the Eagles’ 37-29 loss.

“[Thretton] has really made very good strides,” Tolkin said. “He needed to shake off the rust and, over the last three-plus weeks, he has had a great deal of rugby under his belt, so this full-time environment has brought him along well.”

Japan won the Pacific/Asia Conference with consecutive wins against Canada and the Eagles, who will each play for bragging rights and second place in the conference Saturday at the brand new Bonney Field.

The Eagles are winless in the past sevens matches against the neighbours to the north, with the most recent set of losses coming in an IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Qualifier playoff series.

The match in Sacramento is the first in northern California since 2009 and a homecoming of sorts for Eric Fry, Blaine Scully, and Louis Stanfill, who attended Jesuit High School in nearby Carmichael.

Universal Sports will provide live broadcast coverage of the Eagles’ match against Canada, which kicks off at 3:00 P.M. PT Saturday. Follow live match updates on Twitter with @USARugby and join the social media conversation with the #USAvCAN hashtag.

Men's Eagles | v Canada
1. Nick Wallace
2. Phil Thiel
3. Olive Kilifi
4. Samu Manoa
5. Hayden Smith
6. Todd Clever (C)
7. Scott LaValla
8. Danny Barrett
9. Mike Petri
10. Shalom Suniula
11. Brett Thompson
12. Thretton Palamo
13. Seamus Kelly
14. Blaine Scully
15. Chris Wyles

Men's Eagles | Reserves
16. Tom Coolican
17. Eric Fry
18. Titi Lamositele
19. Louis Stanfill
20. Kyle Sumsion
21. Folau Niua
22. Chad London
23. Luke Hume

Canada | Starting XV
1. Andrew Tiedemann
2. Aaron Carpenter
3. Jake Ilnicki
4. Jamie Cudmore
5. Tyler Hotson
6. Jebb Sinclair
7. John Moonlight
8. Tyler Ardron (C)
9. Phil Mack
10. Harry Jones
11. DTH Van der Merwe
12. Connor Braid
13. Ciaran Hearn
14. Jeff Hassler
15. James Pritchard

Canada | Reserves
16. Hubert Buydens
17. Ray Barkwill
18. Jason Marshall
19. Jon Phelan
20. Kyle Gilmour
21. Gordon McRorie
22. Nathan Hirayama
23. Nick Blevins

Men's Eagles | Summer Series
v Canada - Bonney Field - Saturday, June 21 - 3:00 P.M. PT
v Scotland - BBVA Compass Stadium - Saturday, June 7 - L 6-24
v Japan - StubHub Center - Saturday, June 14 - L 29-37

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Comments (16)

  • Guest - 8man

    I like Barrett at 8. Not a big guy, but ferocious. Hope he proves himself.
    Suniula?...why, has anyone watched his decision making?

  • Guest - Guest (Simon Young)

    Opinions are like...... and there sure are a good deal of opinions here on these pages. I like how the Team is advancing. There is progression, albeit slow but progression nonetheless. Patience is what is required by the fan base and the majority of us are patient. Each time i read these pages i feel like it is filled with 5 year old's that want their candy NOW. Grow up. Support your team and enough with the sour grapes that you were not good enough to be selected way back when. Man up and sign your name

  • Guest - HA!

    In reply to: Guest - Guest (Simon Young)

    Patience is required. Remember saying that in 2003 when at least we could beat the Japanese. Haven't beat them since. Patience is for suckers at some point.

  • Guest - usarugby xv fan

    Odd that they would start Danny Barrett at #8. He is too short and scrawny for that position. They should have moved him to 7 where he would be more effective. Other than that Looking forward to seeing how Palamo does at #12. From what i have seen of him at ombac he was pretty impressive on offense,with some work needed on defense

  • Guest - 5Lock4ward

    In reply to: Guest - usarugby xv fan

    I think they put him at 8 b/c he's fantastic with ball in hand.

  • Guest - Guest wtf

    Usa team is a joke.Some players show up when they want. They are trying to make smith out to be a great player because he was third string on jets and got cut. He doesnt start on his oversea team..Their line outs suck. Scums suck. The politics of this team far as favorites on this team well there are period. The islanders get to do what ever they want ... That's a fact. Gonna be a tough tour. Hopefully the future with new coach will be better. This team is gonna get smoked. Period .watch what happens when smith gets smoked. They wanted Tebow got smith. Sad